AFL trade intrigue begins

As 16 of the AFL’s clubs met at the Westpac Centre on Tuesday for informal talks before the trades begin, disenchanted Essendon player Paddy Ryder was in Adelaide to meet Port Adelaide.

Ryder will meet Power coach Ken Hinkley and several key players, including former Essendon teammate Angus Monfries. The Power will make its pitch to Ryder, who has indicated he wants to quit the Bombers, but has also indicated he does not want to do the wrong thing by the club in a deal to leave.

Ryder also met Greater Western Sydney at the weekend and has previously met with the Brisbane Lions.

Port Adelaide or the Lions remain the most likely destination for Ryder. Port’s advantage lies in the fact it is prepared to trade its first-round pick (No.16), while Brisbane has indicated it would not trade its first pick (No.4) for Ryder. The Lions’ second-round pick, which they are prepared to trade for him, is No.22.

Melbourne free agent James Frawley is yet to make a decision on his future, with Hawthorn believed to have rekindled interest in the defender. The Hawks had initially been interested but went cold on the idea.

Geelong and Fremantle have made similar offers for the former All-Australian, believed to be five years at up to $600,000 a year.

Ryder’s future was the centre of discussions on Tuesday as all but two AFL clubs gathered to informally begin discussions on the month ahead. Essendon declined the invitation to attend and Greater Western Sydney had other commitments in Canberra.

The talks were organised by Fremantle’s Brad Lloyd, to capitalise on the timing of clubs being in Melbourne for the Brownlow Medal count and grand final.

With North Melbourne’s finals campaign over, the Kangaroos have begun discussions with some clubs or managers regarding several players, with North making an offer to out-of-contract Western Bulldogs small forward Shaun Higgins, who is a free agent.

North is also waiting for an answer from free agent  Jarrad Waite, who Carlton is still trying to persuade to remain at the club after having made an offer to the versatile forward.

The Roos also joined Melbourne in expressing interest in Collingwood premiership player Heritier Lumumba. He is expected to meet North Melbourne and Melbourne this week after returning from holiday.

West Coast is also believed to have expressed some interest in the defender.

North is understood to appeal to Lumumba because of his association with football boss Geoff Walsh and coach Brad Scott and the fact the Roos are in contention for a premiership.

North also has had interest in out of favour Western Bulldogs forward Liam Jones, who booted five goals in the VFL grand final but who has struggled to cement a regular place in the senior side. Carlton and Port Adelaide are both understood to have expressed interest in the strong contested mark.

Hawthorn and St Kilda are among the clubs waiting on the decision of out-of-contract Giants onballer Jono O’Rourke on whether the former No.2 draft pick will seek a return home to Melbourne.

Carlton and St Kilda are both interested in GWS key defender Kristian Jaksch, who has told the Giants he wishes to return home to Melbourne.

Carlton’s first pick, No.6, is considered too much for the player on his own without an extra player as part of the deal.

Geelong is believed to have asked about Port Adelaide midfielder Ben Newton, who has played just four games after being taken as a second-round pick (No.35) in the 2010 draft.

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Flag ‘doesn’t depend solely on Franklin’

Robert DiPierdomenico and Barry Hall arm-wrestle at the AFL grand final lunch in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Rohan ThomsonFormer Sydney Swans spearhead Barry Hall says he “wiped out a season” trying to recover from public criticism of his 2006 AFL grand final flop, and AFL legend Michael Voss claims it would be unfair for people to hinge Saturday’s grand final result on Lance Franklin alone.

Hall said the Swans and Franklin had already proved many critics wrong this season, ranking them among the modern era’s great clubs after they recovered from a sluggish start to the year to reach their fourth grand final in a decade.

Sydney has always had a love for a flamboyant full forward, Franklin following the likes of Warwick Capper, Tony “Plugger” Lockett and Big, Bad, Bustling Barry Hall.

Franklin is the biggest name in the AFL and is aiming to become just the third player to win consecutive premierships with different clubs, and the first to do it against his former club, Hawthorn.

While Hall backed Buddy to soak up that pressure, he said the Coleman medallist’s contribution should not be judged on this Saturday’s grand final result alone.

“If you look at the start of the season there was a lot of talk about whether this was the wrong decision for the Sydney Swans: has he affected the culture?; is he worth the money?; they’ve signed him for nine years. A lot went wrong early,” Hall said.

“It just shows what a good club they are, they stayed true to what they know and they turned it around. Buddy’s a good player and he’s going to be a good player for a long time … he can handle the pressure, so it’s the perfect scenario for him, let’s hope he does play well, they win the grand final and they [critics] stay off his back.”

Hall saw how quickly things can change. The hero who captained the Swans to the club’s first premiership in 72 years in 2005, Hall was widely criticised for his goal-less performance in a one-point loss to West Coast Eagles the following year.

Hall said he trained himself to exhaustion in the pre-season trying to prove critics wrong, but it backfired and his next season was a wipeout.

“I was trying to prove people wrong where I probably didn’t need to,” Hall said.

“You’re your own worst enemy, you try harder and you tense up and it just makes things worse and you end up spiralling put of control because you’re trying so hard to change it and you can’t.”

Voss, the 1996 Brownlow medallist and three-time premiership winner with the Brisbane Lions, said it was unfair that public scrutiny was sitting on Franklin’s broad shoulders.

“In some ways Buddy is going to be the hero or the villain and, to be honest, that’s completely unfair,” Voss said. “There’s been so much focus on him … He’s a super player and I was barracking for him to win the Brownlow actually because I think he’s the best player in the competition. He either kicks his five goals and he’s an absolute superstar or he kicks 2.5, 2.4 and they don’t win and he’s the villain. That’s a really tough scenario, so his job is to not think about all that.”

Hall said the Swans had a forward line to support Franklin, nominating Adam Goodes, Sam Reid and Kurt Tippett as X-factors in their own right.

Hall said if the Swans repeated their 2012 grand final victory against Hawthorn they deserved to be rated alongside the great teams of the modern era.

“Its been 10 years and they’ve only missed out [on the finals] once. If they win this one, they’ll be up there with some of the great teams, like Geelong [three premierships from 2007-11], the Brisbane Lions [three premierships 2001-03], teams like that who have been dominant. The Sydney Swans would be right up there with them.”

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One dead, two stabbed in Endeavour Hills

Police at the scene of the Endeavour Hills shooting. Photo: Getty Images/Scott Barbour Police at the scene. Photo: Getty iMAGES/Scott Barbour

A police officer in bomb suit inspects the car at the scene. Photo: Getty Images/Scott Barbour

An officer prepares to enter the police station. Photo: Getty Images/Scott Barbour

Latest: Terror suspect shot dead

An 18-year-old man has been shot dead by counter-terrorism police and two policemen have been stabbed in Melbourne’s outer south-east.

Police said the two officers met the 18-year-old outside the Endeavour Hills police station before he lashed out at the officers with a sharp instrument. He then ran towards the police station and was shot.

Onlookers at the scene — who did not want to be named — said the dead man had been shouting insults at Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Australian government in general in the moments before he was shot.

The two stabbed officers, one from Victoria Police and one from the Australian Federal Police, were working together as part of a joint operation on counter-terrorism between the AFP and Victoria Police. The operation is believed to have been running for the past two to three years.

Police say the man was involved in an ongoing investigation, but AFP Commander Bruce Giles would not confirm whether the 18-year-old’s passport was among those that had been suspended, as had been reported.

However, he said, reports the man had been displaying Islamic State flags in the lead-up to police contacting him appeared to be correct.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said the man had been asked to come to the police station to discuss behaviour “which had been causing some concern”. When the man pulled up at the station he stabbed the two officers as they went to greet him.

“I want to make it very clear that the individual concerned who has died tonight was invited and did come of his own free will to the police station,” he said.

“Our members had no inkling this individual posed a threat to them and as far as we were concerned it was going to be an amicable discussion about that individual’s behaviour.

“It is also clear to us that individual has without any warning, produced a knife and assailed them with a knife.

“It’s absolutely clear to us our members had no choice but to act in the way that they did.”

Police sources said it was the Victorian officer who shot the man.

The federal officer was taken to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition with life-threatening injuries, but he is now in a stable condition, police said.

The Victorian officer was taken to nearby Dandenong Hospital in a less serious condition suffering stab wounds to the arms.

A bomb-disposal unit was called to the scene and inspected the car and the police station.

Mr Giles said while the man did not make a bomb threat against police, the bomb squad was called to inspect his car for explosive devices.

“Whenever we deal with individuals who have clearly aimed to cause harm to police we go to exceptional lengths to ensure that the crime scene is safe” he said.

Mr Giles said the man had been acting alone and did not appear to be working with others.

Police set up a crime scene around the perimeter of the nearby Endeavour Hills shopping centre.

Homicide squad detectives are investigating the incident for the coroner, and Professional Standards Command members are overseeing the investigation.

A crowd of about 50 onlookers had gathered about 10pm. A heavy police presence was at the scene, with about a dozen officers directing onlookers to leave.

Premier Denis Napthine was briefed by the Chief Commissioner of Police, Ken Lay, on events.

Shafi Miya, who works at the petrol station opposite the Endeavour Hills police station, said he heard a shot fired sometime between 7.30pm and 8pm.

He said police had taped off the police station and Heatherton Rd was closed in both directions.

Ambulance Victoria confirmed that paramedics attended the scene but would not provide further details.

with Alexandra Back, Patrick Begley, Tammy Mills, Henrietta Cook

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Mine rehabilitation focus of conference

More than 200 mining ­industry stakeholders will attend the fourth annual Mine Rehabilitation Conference at Singleton tomorrow.

SPEAKER: Tim Roberts.

The University of Newcastle’s Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment will host the event together with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to focus on the restoration of biodiversity to mining-affected areas.

Speakers include guests from various government agencies as well as university researchers and mining industry stakeholders.

TFI director Professor Tim Roberts said the annual conference was among the largest of its kind in Australia.

“It is an ideal opportunity for the various sectors to come together and share their unique approaches to re-establishing areas impacted by mining ­activity,” he said.

“The rehabilitation of our ecological systems is vital and by holding these policy ­discussions, without a political agenda, we’re helping to ensure the best environmentaloutcomes are realised.”

Professor Roberts said the event was open to interested members of the public with online registration available.

The event will be held at Singleton Diggers from 8am to 5.10pm.

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One time Kev’s happy to cop a drenching

MAKING A SPLASH: Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson (front) cops a ‘bucketing’ from 88.9FM afternoon announcer Terry Lane, morning announcer Leisa ‘LJ’ Norris, The Northern Daily Leader editor Daniel Johns and 88.9FM drive announcer Ray McCoy as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Photo: Geoff O’Neill 230914GOC01IF YOU’VE ever wanted to tip the proverbial bucket on local MP Kevin Anderson, you’ve just missed a golden chance.

Mr Anderson was among a host of “victims” yesterday at a special Ice Bucket Challenge on the grounds of Tamworth’s 88.9FM.

The challenge, aimed at raising awareness and funds for motor neurone disease, has gone viral on social media in recent months, with participants asked to nominate others after completing the dare.

Mr Anderson – along with The Northern Daily Leadereditor Daniel Johns and 88.9FM announcers Leisa “LJ” Norris, Ray McCoy and Terry Lane – were the latest to line up for the challenge yesterday.

Appropriately, the Tamworth politician copped the worst drenching when the other participants hatched a plot to hit him with four ice-laden buckets at once.

Mr McCoy, a drive announcer at 88.9FM, said the fundraiser had taken on a life of its own since it was announced.

“I mentioned it on air and it just exploded from there,” he said. “Terry (Lane) loves any publicity and LJ loves an excuse for a wet T-shirt competition so it worked well.”

On hand for the event was Tamworth woman Lee Corbett, who lost her husband John to motor neurone disease last November.

She said despite the frivolity of the challenge, it carried with it a deadly message.

“It’s great to see this sort of thing happen because there just needs to be more awareness about this horrible disease,” Mrs Corbett said.

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